News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Twitter/Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner David Munro
UK News

Surrey Police responds to secularist backlash over accepting free Bibles from Gideons International

The National Secular Society (NSS) said accepting the donation from Gideons International last month gave a "strong impression of religious favouritism".

In response, a force spokesman told Premier: "It is important to us that all officers and staff feel supported irrespective of their faith/belief or none.

"We have a multi-faith Chaplaincy which has approximately 20 committed volunteers, the chaplaincy offers a service to all staff and officers offering emotional and spiritual support.

"Policing is a challenging and complex environment and it is vital that staff and officers feel supported at work to serve the public."

The Bibles were awarded to the Surrey Christian Police Association during a service attended by the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) David Munro on April 24th.

Chief executive officer of the NSS, Stephen Evans said it was "disappointing to see Surrey Police allowing itself to be used in this way".

"As public service providers, police forces should serve with impartiality and without fear or favour.

"Distributing badged bibles and brandishing them in publicity shots gives a strong impression of religious favouritism."

A spokesman for the Surrey PCC told Premier the multi-faith chaplaincy team include Christians, Jews, Muslims and Humanists.

Referring to the ceremony on April 24th, they added: "A crucial part of the PCC role is to represent all those who live and work in Surrey and to help build links with the communities in the county.

"To achieve this, the Commissioner regularly meets people from a varied range of backgrounds.

"In the last year, he had over 150 different meetings, events or visits with organisations, charities and individuals such as youth groups, residents associations, minority groups and faith leaders."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.